21 March 2013
Kevin Schwantz issues statement on Austin test
"CotA management requested I leave the track immediately... CotA's security force also accused me of criminal trespass and warned I would be arrested the next time I entered the track" - Kevin Schwantz.
1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz has issued a statement claiming he was told to leave last week's private MotoGP test at the Circuit of the Americas - and warned not to come back.
Schwantz was part of the original team involved in the creation of the Austin circuit, in his home state of Texas, but has since taken legal action against CotA over promotion rights to the MotoGP event.
The statement issued by Schwantz begins: "I have read several reports regarding my attendance at the MotoGP test last week in Austin. I would like to make this statement:
"I had been in Switzerland over the weekend where I was the guest speaker at the St. Gallen University. I returned to Texas on Tuesday evening and on Thursday I was at CotA for the MotoGP test, with a proper credential supplied by the Attack team, to coach Blake Young. Additionally I was an invited guest of the LCR Honda team.
“While there, CotA security informed me that CotA management requested I leave the track immediately and was not welcomed at the circuit. CotA's security force also accused me of criminal trespass and warned I would be arrested the next time I entered the track.
“This comes as a tremendous disappointment to Honda, Blake Young, and myself. Especially because I am single-handedly responsible for bringing MotoGP to Texas and for the initial design of the facility to accommodate MotoGP racing."
According to local Austin media, Schwantz defied the 'requests' and did not leave until the close of testing.
The episode underlines that the dispute between Schwantz and CotA is far from settled. As well as advising on the design of the circuit, Schwantz is president of 3FourTexas MGP, which closed the original ten-year MotoGP contract alongside Dorna Sports and Tavo Hellmund's Full Throttle Productions company.
Complications, most notably the departure of Hellmund, put the F1 and MotoGP deals in jeopardy. MotoGP, like F1, later reached a new agreement with the circuit owners - but with Schwantz not part of the deal, prompting legal action from the '#34'.
In a statement last September, responding to the lawsuit, CotA said that Schwantz "never had an agreement to conduct a MotoGP race at Circuit of the Americas" and was "making false claims to the court and media".
Dorna confirmed that it "entered into a Promoters Contract with 3Four Texas MGP" but had "no other alternative than to terminate the Promoters Contract" when 3Four Texas failed to provide "satisfactory evidence... about the company having obtained all the necessary rights, licenses and permits related with the availability of the Circuit of the Americas."
CotA, which held its first F1 race to widespread acclaim late last year, will hold its inaugural MotoGP event in April.
Schwantz, it seems, might have to watch it on TV.
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